LIVE: Crazy For You @ Cohoes Music Hall (GailSez)
You’ve heard the phrase, “all singing, all dancing”? Well, this production of Crazy for You at Cohoes is mostly just “all dancing.” As you can imagine, it is not easy to project, unmiked, over a live six-piece pit band after you’ve been hoofing vigorously for a quarter of an hour or so non-stop. While I am not a fan of amplified singing and usually revel in the lack of microphones at Cohoes, this is one time I felt they might have helped, especially since both of the leads had rather thin voices even when they weren’t winded.
Crazy for You is a “manufactured musical” circa 1992. While largely based on the 1930 Gershwin musical “Girl Crazy,” which had a book by Guy Bolton and John McGowan and served as the stage debut of Ethel Merman. Crazy for You retains only five numbers from Girl Crazy – Bidin’ My Time, Could You Use Me, Embraceable You, But Not for Me, and I Got Rhythm – and has a new book by Ken Ludwig, author of Lend Me a Tenor and Leading Ladies, among others, which is crammed full of very conceivable old groaner of a gag. The rest of the score consists of the Gershwin brothers greatest hits from other stage and film projects, as well as one number, Naughty Baby, with music by Desmond Carter and lyrics by Ira Gershwin.